After RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the store in town and the few others nearby were among the lucky 1,740 of 4,000 nationwide chosen to live on, albeit as Sprint-RadioShack hybrid stores.
Say what you will about RadioShack’s business missteps over the last few decades, but I was happy for these stores. RadioShack’s employees often find themselves the butt of jokes and scorn regarding corporate decisions out of their control, but to a person, every employee that I’ve dealt with has been helpful, knowledgable, and sincere. I was glad that they would be keeping their jobs.
Unfortunately their stay of execution was to be short-lived. Two weeks ago while out scouting for social studies project supplies, I drove past one of my favorite RadioShack locations only to see the big clearance and “everything must go” signs plastered in the windows. The teepee project deadline was looming and my schedule was tight, but I had to make an unplanned stop to find out more.
The story was not surprising but depressing nonetheless. The original list of store closings that RadioShack prepared didn’t meet their creditors’ needs, so more had to go. What was surprising was that all 6 stores within 50 miles were now set to close, and their clearance was well underway. I knew that regardless of how I felt, I could not pass up the opportunity to stock up on DIY supplies, tools, and a few impulse AV items.
The store still seemed fully stocked when I arrived, although I learned that the sales had started four days earlier. All Arduino and Seeed Studio items were already marked 50% off, and other DIY items were 30% off. It was then I experienced what must be the geek equivalent of buck fever. I couldn’t pull the trigger! There were just too many choices. I wasn’t really sure what I “needed” and what items would just play a tangible role in one of my many unfilled pipe dream projects. I needed to be rational. I needed to take ROI into account. I needed a plan.
So today, I ventured back out again with a goal of hitting the three nearest stores. Did I have a plan? Not so much, but my initial mania had worn off, and I did have a slightly better idea of what I wanted. Here’s what I got:
Oh, I also received both a call and an e-mail from my credit company about suspicious activity on my card. I seemed to have allayed their fears, but I’m not entirely sure if they thought my card had been stolen or if they were suspicious about what I had planned for these items. I’m hoping it’s not the latter.
I’m pleased with my take, but have to admit I feel a lot like Homer after he accidentally killed and then ate his best friend, Pinchy the lobster.
I’m pretty sure I’m going back for seconds.